Ok this is my first thread ever. I literally joined a few minutes ago.
Common App main essay. Topic of your choice about 500 words. I can't really add any more, I'm already a sentence or two over. I'm finishing up my app and got this sudden sense of panic and that my essay wasn't strong enough. I'm mainly worried that it doesn't really "focus" on anything.
Vanilla: simple, common, sweet, and unoriginal. Avoided by many; chosen by me. In my frenzy of essay topic searching, I noticed a recurring theme: statements that are brash, risky, and confident. Then I realized that pursuing one of these essays would simply not be me. I'm vanilla. I'm a politically correct, cliché speaking, assimilating, self assimilating, self-deprecating, Camry-driving, and-if I'm feeling frisky-semi-colon using individual.
I understand that vanilla is not homogenized. There's sweet vanilla, peppery vanilla, and even the dubious fake vanilla. Nevertheless, my actions fall somewhere in-between the "Brady Bunch" and "Green Acres".
Why? I blame my unconventional Asian family, PBS, and my complex to remain inconspicuous. Growing up, I remember refusing to bring lunch to school because it would be rice, vegetables, and stir fry.
"FIT IN!" "FIT IN!" was the inner monologue that made my seven-year-old-self drag my mom through the grocery store and into the lunchmeat section to pick up a pack of Oscar Meyer Bologna.
In retrospect, I should've picked the salami.
Once, I brought a case of "Grass Jelly Drink" to the second grade picnic; I then tried to hide it, because my grandpa refused to allow me to show up empty handed.
My complex stems from children's television. Yes, the very tool praised for connecting cultures and facilitating understanding caused me to round out my sharp corners. I wanted to be vanilla, like "Arthur" or any other main character in a show that did not attract attention. My parents however, did not enforce this. How was I supposed to get a lecture about being polite in public with hands-off parents? As a result, I made my own rules. I taught myself to be responsive and sociable. I enforced manners that I thought were part of an average upbringing.
It was this past summer that I realized that the self conceived and applied notion of "average" was actually unusual. Different. "Very unique." Up to that point I thought everyone had my imaginary upbringing and were simply rebelling. Nope, many people were taught to act as they do now. Yes, I'm fairly sure that most individuals were taught to not run amuck clothing-less and barking, but not social skills. My little quirks, such as being almost overbearingly passive and undauntingly positive are from my "vanilla" upbringing.
At the age of four I wanted to be "vanilla" and that is truly what I am. I don't regret choosing what may be perceived as the "boring" flavor, I've done well because of it.
I understand now that there's a whole case of personalities that are chunky, ripple-y, and even sugar free! But, the base for almost any flavor of ice cream is vanilla. It possesses an understated complexity that allows for chunks and ripples to shine. Yes, vanilla is cliché for bland and blah, but there is still a familiar and comforting aspect that makes it consistently popular. I'd like to think I flavored by exotic spices and have bits of expensive candies embedded in me, but I'm vanilla, through and through.